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Headword: *ni/saion
Adler number: nu,425
Translated headword: Nisaion, Nisaeum, Nisaia
Vetting Status: high
A place of [ = in] Persis, where very fast horses are born, called Nisaean.[1]
But some [say] that [there is] a large plain of Media, whose name is Nisaeum.[2] So this plain brings forth the large horses.
Also [sc. attested is] Nisaios, a proper name; both the citizen [sc. of Nisaia], and the horse [from there].
So note, that the author of the Ethnica has truly made an error, in writing 'the Nisaean plain' and the 'Nisaean horses' with an eta.[3]
Greek Original:
*ni/saion: to/pos *persi/dos, e)/nqa i(/ppoi w)/kistoi gi/nontai, *nisai=oi lego/menoi. oi( de/, o(/ti pedi/on me/ga th=s *mhdikh=s, tw=| ou)/noma/ e)sti *ni/saion. tou\s ou)=n dh\ i(/ppous tou\s mega/lous fe/rei to\ pedi/on tou=to. kai\ *nisai=os, o)/noma ku/rion: kai\ o( poli/ths, kai\ o( i(/ppos. shmei/wsai ou)=n, o(/ti e)/sfaltai a)lhqw=s para\ tw=| a)nagrayame/nw| ta\ e)qnika/, to\ *nisai=on pedi/on kai\ oi( *nisai=oi i(/ppoi paradedome/na dia\ tou= h gra/fesqai.
The Suda offers the back-formation *ni/saion for the adjective *nisai=os; the place-name is most probably Nisaia (see How & Wells' commentary on Herodotus 7.40.2 -- cf. next note).
[1] See Herodotus 3.106.2, 7.40.2 (web address 1, web address 2); see also iota 578.
[2] Photius (nu200 Theodoridis) calls Nisaion a plain of [= near] the Red Sea, while Eustathius of Thessalonica, Commentary on Dionysius' Description of the World 1017, refers to it as a plain in Media.
[3] i.e. Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica p. 474 Meineke. In fact both spellings occur in Herodotus, the spelling with eta in Herodotus 9.20.4 (web address 3).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; historiography; zoology
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 25 November 2009@05:34:06.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 25 November 2009@08:32:12.
David Whitehead on 10 June 2013@03:55:36.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 19 September 2013@00:03:41.
David Whitehead on 19 September 2013@04:05:02.


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